100 Years of Moving Toronto

The Toronto Archives have mounted a large online display celebrating the TTC’s coming centenary in September 2021. The photo selection is very good, although heavy on construction in places because that is the sort of thing that was documented in detail at the time.

Parts of this exhibit are also on view in various locations around the subway system.

5 thoughts on “100 Years of Moving Toronto

  1. The reason for the creation of the Toronto Transportation Commission (now Toronto Transit Commission) was the failure of the privately run companies. Toronto Street Railway (1861–1891) and Toronto Railway Company (1891–1921) did not do good jobs. The Toronto Civic Railways (1912–1921) was owned by the city, and was the “seed” for the TTC.


  2. The great change in September 1963 that brought the grid system to suburbia is the greatest and most important change made by the TTC in the past 50 years. It brought a true grid system to suburbia which meant you could go from one part of the suburbs to another without having to venture into the old “City of Toronto” and then back out. In 1962 you could not go from Lawrence and Warden to Lawrence and Leslie without going down to the Danforth. In 1963 you could, but when the Eglinton Crosstown Line opens you won’t be able to again. Since my parents moved to Lawrence and Warden in 1966 this was very important to me.


  3. I really, really enjoyed the online display, with one notable exception…

    …there is not a single mention of the CLRV or ALRV. It’s almost as if they’ve been actively excluded. For such a major part of the TTC history, I thought they would have gotten at least one page!


  4. In the “time does fly, doesn’t it?” department, I would point out that “the last fifty years” only goes back to 1971.


  5. One fact that I suspect that not very many people are aware of is that the city of Toronto had a chance to own the transit system a good 5 years before it ultimately did. The reason it passed on doing so in 1916 was because Mayor Church thought the terms were too generous to the owners. If he hadn’t rejected this chance the big celebration would’ve been 5 years ago. Just an interesting bit of history I thought everybody with any interest in the TTC would appreciate, that’s all.


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